Pub Marketing: 5 tips to create a successful loyalty card

Pub Marketing: 5 tips to create a successful loyalty card

This week in Pub Marketing we’re going to look at how to create a successful loyalty card.

Faced with increased competition pubs have to work harder than ever to keep their customers coming back. The key to beating the competition in our opinion, beyond all the usual customer expectations of a quality product, great service and good value, is to introduce a loyalty card. We believe this because our experience and case study has demonstrated excellent results for both wet led and food led sites across the country.

Let’s take a look at some key considerations:

Create a great offer

This may sound obvious but in my experience it is not always clear to business owners what constitutes a great offer. The offer is the reward that underpins the whole loyalty process and is the thing that you are giving to a customer in return for their loyalty. Remember, the point here is to persuade your customers to choose you above your competition. An example of a great offer would be ‘first drink half price, once each day’. An example of a poor offer would be ‘free cup of tea when you buy a full price meal’. One of these offers brings in hundreds of repeat visits each week, one of them doesn’t.

Reward your customers often

The key to success in any loyalty system is to encourage your customer back to the pub frequently. To do this you should reward them often, by that I mean offering an incentive that has a short cycle to reach the reward. A good example here would be ‘buy 6 meals get the 7th free’. This means that a couple dining out using their loyalty card would be rewarded on their third visit. This type of reward is proven to increase frequency of visits among loyal customers.

Keep it simple

Your customers are far more likely to engage with your loyalty card if they understand it. Make the process too complicated or the reward too difficult to reach and it’s a real turn off. A simple offer that customers understand and staff can deliver will achieve the success you want.

Ask for feedback

This is an important step in creating a successful loyalty card. Talk to your customers, find out what they think – good or bad – this information will help to improve your loyalty card and show customers that you are listening. Is there something your customers would like to see included on your loyalty card? Would your customers pay for an ‘exclusive’ VIP card? By taking an interest you’re certain to keep customers happy and they’re more likely to tell a friend…

Review the results

Customer feedback is important, so too are the actual usage results. The facts and figures to tell you when your customers used their loyalty cards to redeem an offer, which offer they redeemed and how frequently they visit are crucial to better understanding your customers and which offers they respond to. By constantly reviewing your success and refining your loyalty offer you will keep your customers coming back time after time, you’ll stay a step ahead of the competition and protect your future revenue.

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About the Author: James Thomas

I work with retail and hospitality businesses to develop their digital strategy, specialising in loyalty marketing. I ride a bike, I like to swim and enjoy a nice cup of tea. You'll find me in the kitchen at parties. Drinking real ale. From a jug.

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